By Macy Jenkins

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The number of hate groups in the United States is on the rise, and some of them are right here in Northern California. What’s behind this increase, and where can those hate groups be found in our area?

Eight of those groups are right here in the Sacramento area and the statistics come from the Southern Poverty Law Center. The spike in the number of hate groups in just the last year may surprise you.

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“Our country is polarized right now. You want to blame somebody for everything,” said Kevin Daniel, with the Greater Sacramento Urban League.

And in 2015, thousands of Americans across the country were pointing fingers. Anti-government groups are on the rise, anti-Muslim groups are up 42 percent in one year, and the number of Ku Klux Klan groups has more the doubled since 2014.

“When Donald Trump is calling Mexicans rapists, that’s a concern,” said Basim Elkarra, President of the Sacramento Valley Council on American Islamic Relations. “Every election season, for the past few cycles, we’ve seen an uptick in hate incidents and hate rhetoric.”

Daniel says racial tension began to build (nationally) long before this election.

“I’m not surprised; I’ve kind of seen it slowly rise firsthand, ever since President Obama became president,” said Daniel.

In 2008, the number of hate groups sat at 926. By 2011, that shot up to 1,018. But in 2014, it went down to 784. Last year, it spiked back up to 892.

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And in the top five states for these groups, California is number two.

So what’s the solution?

“We watch it and try to work together to try to fight back against hate,” said Elkarra.

Elkarra says divisive talk should die down when the election is over.

But for Daniel, there’s no more time to wait.

“We’re all looking for the same things, and if we begin talking about the things we have in common and begin to diminish the things we have apart, it makes things a little bit easier for us,” he said.

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The Southern Povery Law Center put this list together using websites and publications from various hate groups. They also consulted police reports and news reports. They found 68 different hate groups in California.